Chapter

The Need for Evidence-Based Public Health

ROSS C. BROWNSON, ELIZABETH A. BAKER, TERRY L. LEET and KATHLEEN N. GILLESPIE

in Evidence-Based Public Health

Published in print November 2002 | ISBN: 9780195143768
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199865581 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195143768.003.0001
The Need for Evidence-Based Public Health

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Public health practitioners have often based their decisions on short-term demands rather than long-term study, and policies and programs are sometimes developed around anecdotal evidence. A more evidence-based approach to decision making requires enhanced individual skills, wider use of data and analytic tools, and a more favorable organizational climate. This chapter includes four major sections giving the following: (1) relevant background issues, including an overview of evidence-based medicine and other concepts underlying evidence-based public health; (2) several key characteristics of an evidenced-based process; (3) a brief sketch of a framework for evidence-based decision making in public health practice; and (4) a summary of barriers and opportunities for widespread implementation of evidence-based approaches. A major goal of the chapter is to move the process of decision making toward a proactive approach that incorporates effective use of scientific evidence and data.

Keywords: decision making; scientific evidence; public health practice; health policy; anecdotal evidence; widespread implementation

Chapter.  7216 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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